July 24, 2023

World Record: The World’s First Sub-5 and New Mental Strategies

Note: This post is pinned to the top of my blog.

World record Square-1 average: 4.91 seconds

July 22, 2023 marks the day I set the world record Square-1 average with a result of 4.91 seconds. This new record marks the end of my 5.02 world record average from over a year ago and is the first sub-5 result in cubing history.

My feelings about this record are pretty much summed up by my reaction after the last solve (see 1:33 timestamp). Although I didn’t appear to react much, I was freaking out internally. I was simply in shock and almost refused to believe that I did what I had just done…

Why? Because I went into this competition with virtually zero expectations, let alone world record. I just wanted to solve as well as I could. But I believe that very fact is what allowed me to pull off a record like this. My almost apathetic mindset naturally uplifted most of my stress and nerves, allowing me to clear my mind and adopt a mental strategy starkly different from that of my 5.02 average.

Without the objective of breaking world record at the back of my mind, I was able to focus on each individual solve as opposed to the potential of the entire average. On the last attempt in particular (4.58), instead of asking myself, “what time do I need for world record?”, I tried to ask myself, “what time can I get, period?” Applying this mindset to a real competition scenario is much easier said than done (I still struggle with it very often), but I think I was able to pull it off very successfully here. 5 slice PBL helped a lot too lol.

Nonetheless, these solves definitely have ample room for improvement. I can recall at least one pause and/or lock-up in every solve. As a result, I’m very excited to follow (and hopefully continue to be a part of) the future of Square-1 world records.

To conclude, I am over the moon to be able to call myself the first person to break both the sub-6 and sub-5 barriers in Square-1. My 5.02 average will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was my first world record and the culmination of a shattered mental barrier and too many fails to count. On the other hand, this 4.91 average will symbolize for me the growth I’ve made as a speed-cuber, particularly in how I deal with high-pressure, nervewracking scenarios. For these reasons, I couldn’t possibly compare these two records, as they are special to me in vastly different ways. See you all in Pittsburgh, Incheon, and Jakarta ✌️

The record-setting scorecard!
Certificate from the competition!
The first sub-5 ever!
Updated world record collection!

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